Powered by LED (KIRA2) backlighting, the 55- or 65-inch Cell TV features multiple eight-core 3.2-GHz processors. What does that mean? It’s 10 times faster than standard desktop computers and will have 143 times the processing power of today’s televisions, claims Toshiba. (peak 200 gigaflops)
The Cell TV includes a converter to make everything that’s normally 2-D on your screen — football games, videogames, Blu-ray movies and so on — pop out in 3-D when viewed through active shutter glasses. That’s where the processing power comes into play — frame-rate conversions and rendering.
The Cell TV gets even more intense. It also features a video camera, microphone and software for video conferencing over an internet connection. (Hello, George Jetson.) To get on the web, there’s an ethernet port and 802.11N Wi-Fi connectivity. Also, the Cell TV will have a software menu called Net TV Channels to download streaming content from Netflix, Vudu and other web-based video services. On top of that, the TV uses a technology called Net Super Resolution+ to reduce compression artifacts seen in web video content.
* 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio
* a 1250cd/m² luminance
* a 512-zone LED array backlight
* a 240Hz refresh rate for super-smooth images
* 3TB of of integrated hard drive storage
* simultaneously record up to eight digital TV channels
Second, as many leading TV manufacturers roll out 3-D TVs in the U.S., Toshiba needs “something” to differentiate its 3-D TV offerings, including new capabilities like on-the-fly 2-D to 3-D conversion.
Indeed, the pending U.S. models will feature a new set of functions with a specific emphasis on 3-D. These functions include not only converting multiple 3-D formats, but also converting incoming 2-D video signals (from broadcast or packaged media) into 3-D in “real time,” the company claimed. Third, Toshiba said it isn’t just testing the water with its Cell TVs, but will offer multiple models in the U.S. market. The U.S. models will come in three screen sizes this year: Genesis at 55 and 65 inches; and Illusion at 46-, 55-, and 65-inch screen sizes.
Samsung on Wednesday (Jan. 6) claimed that “a built-in video processor” inside its 3-D TV models will offer a similar conversion feature in order to offer “unlimited 3-D content” while the availability of 3-D TV broadcasts remain limited.
Exactly how “on-the-fly” conversion actually renders on a TV remains to be seen. Neither company offered a demonstration during separate press conferences.
The concept behind the conversion technique is using a Cell or other power processor to fill in blanks by creating two separate images — one for each eye — out of a single frame. Asked if there is any video content more suitable for such a real-time conversion, Toshiba’s Uchiyama said, “Not really, but you do need sharper original content to begin with” for the process to work.
Processing power allows Toshiba’s Cell TV to offer “super resolution” by generating missing high-frequency pixels, “net resolution+” technology that uses compression noise cancellation for Internet content and “auto view” features that adjust brightness and color temperature based on where the TV is located.